Friday, January 27, 2012



Are you a new MUA & have questions about what is expected of you on photo shoots? Experience is your best teacher whether it comes through assisting more seasoned artists or doing lots of shooting on your own. There are a lot of details to be mindful of as you pursue building your body of work & portfolio, honing your craft & establishing yourself as a Makeup Artist. Here is a bit of information that may help you along the way.

NUMBER ONE:  Upon booking the shoot, establish lines of communication between yourself & EVERY MEMBER OF THE CREATIVE TEAM. You want to have the confidence that you know how to approach the execution of the makeup looks with COMPLETE CLARITY ON THE CREATIVE DIRECTION. Ask questions, ask for images, ask to see the talent, model/models & every person you will be working on. Find out about their skin & hair. Go in with as much information as possible.


---Bookmark images of makeup looks that may go with the direction of the shoot. You want to get a clear picture of the whole creative team's goals.
---Pack: Your own lighting. Oil sheen spray in case the looks call for glistening skin on the face & body. Makeup remover wipes to transition between looks & prep the skin.
---Go over in your head, then write a few notes on the different textures, finishes & over-all features of different styles of makeup. (Beauty, Clean Beauty, Fashion, Pin-Up, Urban, Lingerie, Natural, Nude, Neutral, Monotone, Basic Commercial, Goth, Grunge, Heroin Chic, Avant Garde, Fantasy, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50, 60s, 70s, 80s etc)
---Weigh these points with the contents of your kit. Be ready to expand your product knowledge by using products in multiplicity. (Pencils, pigments as lip color, mixing pigments & loose powders with cream/liq foundation to come up with new textures/colors for highlighting/contouring/cheek colors etc)


---Be clear on how many looks you will be executing so that you can manage your progress. You may decide to transition from one look to another or start from scratch between looks. You want to be able to map that out.
---Find out how much time you may have to execute each look so that you can pace yourself.
---Speak to each person on the creative team. Ask if there are any images that they want you to see. Make sure you are on the same page they are.
---Ask photographer about the specifics of the lighting that you should know. (Intensity, natural, filtered, up, direct, reflected, silhouette etc)
---Be mindful of your pace so that you can allot a few moments to make adjustments on set in actual lighting conditions.
---Ask photographer to let you see frames during the shoot so you can see how your work is coming across.
---Gage progress of the shoot by asking members of the team:
Any adjustments? Softer eyes? More dramatic eyes/lips? Softer/heavier brows? More highlighting? More facial sculpting?

Be confident that you are an equal member of a team, yet RESPECTING THE INHERENT HIERARCHY & go in there positive that you will give your best!
R O C K . I T . O U T!!! :-)


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  1. Thank you so much for this great post. I am trying to learn as much as I can. I will defintely print this out and use this as a guideline!

  2. Thank You for this information! It is super helpful.

  3. This is great to know, thanks so much!